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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files

On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 02:23:40PM -0700, Alex Romosan wrote:
> "Brian M. Carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx> writes:

> > What do I think? I think WHY-FREE is a very ironic name for
> > something so non-free. It should be removed, of course. I'm sorry if
> > RMS will be unhappy, but the DFSG does not make exceptions if people
> > are unhappy. Documentation *is* software, and therefore its licenses
> > must follow the DFSG; I thought we just decided that.

> WHY-FREE is not documentation! it is a manifesto in which rms expounds
> on his views on free software. it's _his_ opinion and as such it
> should not be altered. this doesn't make it non-free.

You have turned the DFSG soundly on its head.  In a world of copyrights,
all works are non-free *by default*; it is only if they meet certain
requirements, as detailed in the DFSG, that we consider them free.  Are
you saying that the WHY-FREE op-ed piece should be considered free
because the DFSG doesn't say anything about opinion pieces?

And why in the world do we want to distribute opinion pieces with
Debian, anyway?

I respect the opinions of the FSF, and agree with many of their ideas.
But given that there are already provisions in the DFSG for allowing
authors to maintain the intellectual integrity of their work while at
the same time protecting the user's ability to make changes, I don't see
any reason why we should be burdened with the distribution of a
document which is neither Free nor Software, even where the ideas
expressed in the document coincide with my own.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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